You Are Welcome Here

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
What does it mean to welcome someone? When we talk about creating a multi-ethnic Christian community we often talk about being a welcoming place, about welcoming everyone. But how does welcoming really work? Stores often have welcome signs on their doors. It means they are open, ready for business, and want you to come in. Is that what we mean as well when we tell someone they are welcome to come to our service or discipleship small group? Are we…

"Visited Once and Was Hooked"

Posted by Mike Godzwa in Diversity
Malik* arrived at Virginia Union University with hope. He had a difficult life. His family fled violence in his home country, but not before he personally was marked by it. They were able to find asylum in the U.S., but Malik struggled finding a place in his adopted homeland. His experience, his values, his world was so different, but VUU was offering everything he was looking for. It promised community; a place where he could develop real friendships. It offered…

Five Biblical Thoughts on the Confederate Flag

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Flags as symbols can evoke feelings of loyalty and passion, and the Confederate flag certainly does this. While there are those who defend it, many today see it as a symbol of hate, while still another group neither defend it nor calls for its annihilation. But what should the citizens of God’s Kingdom think about it? I offer five Biblical thoughts for members of Chi Alpha regarding the Confederate flag. I suggest we think through these five points and use…

Imago Deo

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Last month we looked at the last stage of diversity development, Transformation. The church is the imago deo. It is by looking at us that the world can see what God looks like. Creating a multi-ethnic body that is conformed to Christ’s image and lives out the culture of the Kingdom in its community is part of how we represent God in the world. Yet, this is not enough. We must also take this ethic into the marketplace and the…

Transformation

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
The final stage of diversity development is Transformation: The multitudes of Revelation 7 are not just some individuals who gathered to sing songs and live moral lives. They have come out of the great tribulation. History tells us much of the sufferings of the early church and their commitment to live out the ethic of the Kingdom and to call others to do so as well. Saint Telemachus is remembered for ending the gladiatorial games at the cost of his…

Conformation

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
The third stage of diversity development is Conformation. We want to look like the campus (formation), so the campus, through this representational community, can see Jesus. In other words, we represent the campus, so we can represent the Lord to the campus. This is the original purpose of humanity, to be God’s image in the world. Thus, we need to be conformed to the image of Christ individually and as a community (Rom 8:29). Like the multitude in Rev. 7,…

Taking the Next Step: Information

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Diversity is a core value in Chi Alpha and on most campuses. Yet, while we use the same word, it is doubtful we mean the same thing. Perhaps you’ve thought about this and asked yourself “what are our Father’s desires regarding diversity and how can I work with him to see those desires fulfilled on my mission field?” Over the next few months, we will be sharing some insights from Revelation 7:9, probably the most well-known and often quoted Scripture…

Taking the Next Step: Information Part 2

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Last month we talked about the first stage of diversity development, Information. We talked about the importance of informing ourselves on God’s view of diversity, as opposed to society’s. Another part of this stage is finding out about your campus. Who’s on your campus that is not in your group? How can you minister to those that are not currently represented? Cindy Evans, staff member at University of Michigan, shares some of their thoughts as they look at their campus,…

Formation

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
The second stage of diversity development is Formation. Once we’ve built a foundation of God’s perspective and have informed ourselves on who is on our campus and what some of their felt needs are, our next step is to work at forming/bringing together a community that represents the campus. A look back at Rev. 7:9 shows us no one is left out. In the same way, it is our goal to form a community made up of every ethnic, tribal,…

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